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It's Not the Old Testament, It's Just Cricket Season

Scott Morgan

Northeast Texas is being overrun by crickets, to an almost biblical degree.  At least, that's how Dr. Steven Goldsmith (kind of) sees it.

"We have had pretty mild winters for the last three or four years, which means the nymphs have not been killed, which means the population sizes build up to biblical proportions," says Goldsmith, a biology professor at Austin College in Sherman.

Nymphs, by the way, are baby crickets. during cold winter, many die off, Goldsmith says. But the largely mild winters Northeast Texas has had since 2013 have left a lot of nymphs to survive. So, we get something out of the Old Testament when it comes to sheer numbers.

And they're not here because of the recent rain, Goldsmith says. That's just been good timing. Or bad, depending on your perspective.

As infestations go, Goldsmith says crickets are infinitely preferable to mice or locusts or roaches.

"They don't mean any harm," he says. "They're just doing what they do."

Of course, what they're doing is breeding like crazy and leaving eggs for next year. But even so, Goldsnmith says, the adults will all die off in about a month, and the nymphs will take their chances on another winter.

Scott Morgan has been an award-winning journalist since 2001. His work has appeared in several newspapers and magazines as well as online. He has also been an editor, freelancer, speaker, writing teacher, author, and podcaster.